Frozen Shoulder: Exploring the Causes, Symptoms, and Management Tips for Older Women

  • Frozen shoulder (adhesive capsulitis) is a condition that primarily affects women over the age of 40.
  • Causes may include hormonal changes and conditions like diabetes.
  • Symptoms include pain, stiffness, and limited mobility in the shoulder joint.
  • Management tips may include softwave therapy, physical therapy, and lifestyle changes.
  • Proactive steps can help improve symptoms and prevent future occurrences.

Adhesive capsulitis, commonly known as frozen shoulder, is a painful condition often affecting older women. It occurs when the shoulder joint capsule stiffens, causing reduced mobility and discomfort.

Frozen shoulder is a painful and debilitating condition that primarily affects women over the age of 40. The exact cause of a frozen shoulder is unknown, but it is believed to be related to hormonal changes and conditions like diabetes.┬áHere’s why older women are prone to this condition and what can be done to prevent and manage it.


While the exact cause of frozen shoulder is unknown, several risk factors can increase the likelihood of developing this condition, such as:

Hormonal Changes

Hormonal changes in women during menopause and peri-menopause can increase the risk of developing a frozen shoulder. The drop in estrogen levels during menopause affects the connective tissue in the shoulder, making it less flexible and more prone to inflammation.

This, in turn, can lead to the development of a frozen shoulder. Women undergoing hormone replacement therapy (HRT) may also be at risk of developing this condition due to hormonal fluctuation.


older female patient with her doctor

Diabetes is a condition that affects the body’s ability to regulate blood sugar levels. Research has shown that people with diabetes are at increased risk of developing frozen shoulder. The exact cause of this relationship is not yet fully understood, but it is thought that high blood sugar levels may cause the connective tissue in the shoulder to become stiffer and more prone to inflammation.


Pain and stiffness in the shoulder joint are the most common symptoms of a frozen shoulder. The discomfort develops gradually over time and can be particularly intense at night. Restricted mobility can make it difficult to perform daily activities such as reaching for items or lifting objects. In some cases, a frozen shoulder can lead to muscle atrophy or weakening of the shoulder joint.

Management Tips

While a frozen shoulder can be frustrating and painful, several management tips can help alleviate symptoms and improve mobility. These treatments may include:

Softwave Therapy

Softwave therapy is a non-invasive treatment that uses acoustic waves to stimulate the cells’ healing process. A device with a wand-like attachment is applied to the affected area, and the low-intensity shockwaves pass through the skin and deep into the shoulder tissue. The therapy reduces inflammation, increases blood flow, and promotes the regeneration of cells in the affected area.

Some of the benefits of softwave therapy include increased mobility and reduced pain. It can also help manage the pain, stiffness, and range of motion associated with a frozen shoulder. With regular treatments, patients can experience significant improvements in the symptoms of shoulder pain. It is a safe, effective, and non-surgical alternative to managing chronic shoulder pain.

Physical Therapy

woman getting a treatment for frozen should

Physical therapy is a well-known and effective method for managing a frozen shoulder. Physical therapy programs include exercises and stretches to promote shoulder movement, reduce pain and stiffness, and improve the shoulder’s range of motion. During therapy sessions, a physiotherapist may use techniques like heat or cold packs, electrical stimulation, and massage therapy to help reduce inflammation and manage pain.

Moreover, physical therapy exercises can help to prevent the frozen shoulder from recurrences once the symptoms subside. With the guidance of an experienced physiotherapist, patients can achieve long-lasting results.

Lifestyle Changes

Lifestyle changes can help prevent and manage a frozen shoulder’s symptoms. For example, practicing healthy habits like maintaining a healthy body weight, staying hydrated, and avoiding strenuous activities can reduce the risk of developing a frozen shoulder. Practicing relaxation techniques like yoga and deep breathing exercises can help to reduce stress and tension in the shoulder muscles.

Furthermore, maintaining proper posture while sitting or standing can help to prevent undue strain on the shoulders and neck. Incorporating small changes to one’s lifestyle can help to reduce the frequency and severity of frozen shoulder symptoms.

Final Thoughts

Frozen shoulder is a common condition that can significantly impact an individual’s quality of life. While older women may be more prone to developing this condition, several management tips and preventative measures can help improve symptoms and prevent future occurrences.

If you are experiencing shoulder pain or stiffness, it is essential to speak with a healthcare professional to identify the cause and determine the best course of treatment. Individuals can enjoy improved shoulder health and a greater quality of life by taking proactive steps to manage and prevent frozen shoulders.

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